Finally, when she seemed to be almost lifelike again, I asked if she minded wandering around the horsies alone. “Gotta develop these shots and make a poster for this guy, otherwise I might have to buy the horse.”
“Would that be so bad?” she teased, but waved me away imperiously. Just for that, I grumbled to myself, I wouldn’t bring her any chocolate.
To her surprise, she found herself glad to be without me for a while, so she said later, if only guys would stop hitting on her. Luckily she had other thoughts and sights to deal with, like Hey, a miniature appaloosa! Squeal! I want one!
She might have told me what she did for those couple of hours, but I was too bored to care, since I was still enjoying her freakout when I’d come back and told her, “Hey lady, wanna buy a burro?”
Gasping in surprise at the voice coming seemingly from inside her ear, she turned right into my grinning face. “What are you doing here?” came her rather pathetic yelp.
“Anything I want.”
“But you’re back so quick!”
“I came as quickly as I. . . felt I had to.”
She snorted on that, but chuckled too. “Did they really develop them that fast?”
Shrug. “Took me the whole time just to find a place.” Smiling, I bent my neck so the side of my head would just touch hers. Feeling it, she leaned against me to reciprocate, without banging skulls. . . too hard. Maybe it’ll become our signature move, she chortled internally.
“Did you know there’s a musical group called Palomino Duck?”
She giggled prettily, the way she would when she wanted something given to her as a gift. “I’d pay to see one of those waddle by right now.”
Luckily I didn’t have anything to give her at the moment, but it was good to know she had that setting, and I could recognize it. “You are some crazy chick.”
“That’s why you love me,” she yawned.
“Wow, I’m pathetic.”
Laughing heartily, she hugged me from behind, then suddenly chortled, “All that glitters is not gold.”
“Nor iron bars a cage!. . . sorry, wrong one.”
“That’s okay,” she laughed, “as long as it was poetry and not a song lyric.”
“When you can fall for chains of silver, you can fall for chains of gold.”
“Now that’s a song! And I totally agree with it, since I’ve never fallen for it.”
“Not yet, anyway. . .”
She ignored that, instead asking, “Hungry yet?”
“Nope,” came my automatic response, but I still reached into his backpack. “Emergency rations,” I explained as I pulled out the pack of gummies.
“There are a bunch of snack places, you know.”
“Yeah,” she sighed, “but that’s clear over there–” She pointed. “–and I’d rather stick with the horsies for now.”
As always, she allowed herself to be led by my whim, and now had to concentrate as we took a small flight of steps into what. . . oh lord, is this a bullring?
As usual, I was able to read her thoughts. “It’s all horses this weekend.”
She squeezed my hand, knowing she should have trusted me, but glad she hadn’t said anything aloud.
Another parade was going on, though this was more than just horsies walking down the boulevard. Some did tricks, others the fancy dancing more commonly known as dressage, and other figured they were just beautiful enough to be admired for their looks. . . or rather their owners did.
I didn’t care that much about equine ego, but there was an amazing young Andalucían I couldn’t take my eyes off. . . more specifically, the horse’s ass. It was young enough to still be rather gray all over, but its tail had been braided into a delicious white braid that reminded me of a certain gorgeous softball player I’d shot many times. And the woman riding it was draped in a red and white flamenco dress, the tail of which framed the braid so perfectly. . .
I glanced over; she was watching the horse with wide-eyed absorption, so I decided not to say anything. She’d see the pictures soon enough anyway.
To my surprise, but also my delight, I found myself enjoying her reactions as much as the show. While I had a long lens on the camera to catch every tiny nuance of a passing horsie, I also had a tiny digital similar to hers, useful for capturing her delight as she cheered and gasped next to me. She watched the show with avid fascination, squinting in the dark of the shadows and clapping at all the right moments, appreciative of every flower and every horse, playing the perfect tourist and amateur horsewoman.
“Nice mules,” she even said once, but the highlight, or one of them, had to be when the most beautiful stallion–and this horse knew it, ego-wise–pranced across the dirt, quickly followed by an almost-identical mare.
“They’re probably brother and sister,” she murmured, “but wouldn’t it be awesome if they were a couple?”
I watched the color rise in her face, giving her red spots on her cheeks that stood out against the whiteness of her flesh. She was breathing quickly, nostrils flaring, chest heaving, and I thought I hadn’t seen anything as lovely in a long time.
“Lovely,” I said aloud, involuntarily.
“Yes she is, isn’t she?”
“Prime filly,” I sighed, causing her to grin and wonder if I was talking about her.
After that we kept quiet and watched the show, she trying to memorize certain horses to draw later, then realizing I was getting a ton of photos, so she could work off of that. Neither of us spoke until I suddenly murmured “Nice capriole” near the end of the performances.
She couldn’t help the sigh that escaped her, but that was due more to her acting instinct that anything else. “Stop showing off, you louse. What’s it mean?”
“Upward leap with no forward motion.”
“In that case, yes, very nice.”
Then came the other highlight, when I was really getting involved in the show she was putting on just for me, though there was probably more than a few men in the audience who had their eyes riveted to her rather than the horsies. But on hearing the gasps of the crowd, including hers, and seeing some tiny tears welling up in her eyes, I brought my attention back to the ring, and saw what all the fuss was about. Instantly my camera was against my eye.
For her part, she could not take her eyes away from the tiny colt clip-clopping obediently beside its mother, somehow managing to impart to its audience that it was both curious and yet happy to be here, or to be alive, for that matter. This baby, she instantly decided, had not struggled to stand up when it had been born, like a newborn giraffe, though that was cute in itself; no, this guy had been born graceful, fully prancing just minutes into its life. She couldn’t stop looking any more than she could stop breathing.
“I wonder if the owner of that little guy would like a walk-on role on an American TV series, or if he’d want something more to feel good about giving me that adorable little pony.”
“Gift horse?” I smirked, making her struggle not to giggle and ruin the show, but luckily the little guy had been designed to end things. Smart of them, I thought.
A few minutes later we were back amongst the stalls, with her cooing to each horse she came across. Eventually, as we reached the end of the stalls and she was realizing she was tired, we found ourselves looking at a beautiful palomino who, unfortunately, couldn’t hold a candle of attention to its owner or seller, whoever the ridiculous-looking guy was.
For once when there was a horse around, she could not keep her eyes off the pitchman. She thought that, the way he looked, he belonged in Hollywood–the town, not the state of mind that went with the movie industry. He was only about five-five, with a shock of yellow hair that stood out from his head in random spikes surrounding his round tanned face.
“He looks like a black-eyed Susan,” she whispered, once again showing off her botanical expertise, making me laugh and lose my way in the translation.
Noticing I was too quiet as we moved along, but not about to let me off easy, she made sure there was accusation in her voice as she asked, “What are you thinking of?”
“Trying to remember if any of the Susans I know have black eyes. Do you mean the actual eyes being black, or the punch-in-the-face type?”
“I didn’t name the plant,” she demurred. “And remember what I told you about thinking of other girls. . .”
“That it shows I’m not a stalker?”
“No, after that.”
“Um. You’re no fun.”
“I am too!”
“Someday,” she chortled, “when there ain’t a Susan in sight!”
And I had to leave it at that. Knowing she would ask again, I thought of something else to be pretending to think about, and had just come up with a doozy when she quickly got sidetracked by, of all things, a clothing store. But of course it had to be horse-related, and once I realized what that meant, I hurried in after her.
But she was already in a makeshift dressing room, next to racks and racks of the tightest jodhpurs I’d ever seen. Just when I got to wondering how secure the place was, and was about to look for tiny security cameras, she came out and, seeing me, preened with a few spins. It was too dark to shoot in there, so I quickly paid for the garment and grabbed the jeans she’d taken off so she’d have to walk in her new oh-so-tight pants.
She caught on to my game, but only smiled and walked out, as well as she could, all things–or thighs–considered. Once out in the sunlight, I let her walk ahead a little, getting plenty of shots of the skin-tightness of the material against her ass. Though I did pause to wonder how she managed not to show any panty lines under. . .
Duh, I laughed to myself. No underwear, of course.
She knew what I was up to, of course; it was exactly what she’d planned when she’d spotted the jodhpurs, a way to reward me. Poor camera’s gonna burn out. . .
Hey, I just realized. . . he grabbed my jeans, but not my undies! Sure, he didn’t know I’d taken them off in the dressing room, but still. . . should I go back and get them? Hopefully they’re not being sniffed by some perv–or on eBay!–already!
Suddenly a very unusual Suthin’ accent–unusual for Spain, anyway–asked her, “Has anyone ever told ya you have a really pretty mouth. . .?”
“Yeah,” I immediately answered, next to her in a second, “but he was a lot prettier than you.”
And that’s why I love him, sigh. . . “Your camera having fun with my new look?”
“If cameras could have erections. . .”
“Ha! Bring out the long lens!”
I almost told her about the shot of me resting at halftime of a soccer game, the 500mm dangling between his legs, but I figured she’d see it soon enough.
“You really like my new pants?” She brought her shoulders closer together, dropping her chin, totally going for the eight-year-old urchin look, really incongruous with her body and the way she was showing it off.
“The only thing tighter than jodhpurs is WET jodhpurs.”
She tried a baleful look, but much to her chagrin she found herself picturing it, wondering when we were gonna shoot at the beach. . .
Stepping around a corner, she found herself in the midst of what looked to be a medieval costume drama, akin to those Renaissance Fairs she’d attended as a kid. There were tents, glowing brightly like they were lit from inside despite the harsh sun, and plenty of cooking pots filling the air with exotic spicy scents, making her mouth water.
“Just your kind of thing, huh?” I laughed as I saw her face.
“I’m so glad we’re here!” she yelped, throwing her arms around me.
Grinning because I knew what was on her mind, even if she’d never admit it, I asked, “Time to grab some lunch?”
She looked genuinely startled. “I’d completely forgotten!”
“Probably how you keep your girlish figure.”
She grinned as she led the way to a more substantial restaurant than what the booths offered. Figuring we’d be back here tomorrow, where she could sample the food to her heart’s content, right now she had to make sure she found a place my picky stomach could tolerate, and she’d spotted one earlier.
Less than five minutes later we were seated, the girl at the door giving her a look of askance at the jodhpurs, then realize only rich women dressed like that. She took our drink orders and handed us menus and then felt somewhat relieved not to have to deal with the odd couple any more, or maybe just the beautiful woman who made her feel like a lesser species of female.